Mexico City: Old Meets New - United Hub

Mexico City: Old meets new

By Bob Cooper

Mexico City is a spicy blend of old and new, with excavated Aztec ruins in the shadows of a skyline where half of the tallest buildings have arisen since 2014. The city boasts a lively culture, more museums than most European cities and a world-class restaurant scene. For all these reasons, North America's largest city has landed near the top of world travelers' must-see lists.

Aerial view of Mexico City

Monuments, museums and murals

Mexico City explorations logically begin at sprawling Zocalo Square, where the Mexican flag is ceremonially raised and lowered daily. The square is in the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, near North America's largest cathedral and the National Palace. Inside the palace, Diego Rivera's stunning tableau of 400 years of Mexican history occupies 4,800 square feet of wall space, a project that took him six years to complete. It's one of several places in the city where Rivera's art shines. If you're a fan, be sure to check out the nearby Diego Rivera Mural Museum as well as the impressive art of his wife, Frida Kahlo, at the Frida Kahlo Museum (also known as the Blue House).

Aztec attractions

Templo Mayor (Great Temple) was the center of the Aztec world in the ancient capital of Tenochtitlan. Since it was discovered right next to Zocalo Square in 1978, the extensive subterranean ruins and companion museum have become a big attraction. Additional Aztec ruins are seen on bus tours to the ancient city of Teotihuacan, just outside Mexico City. Highlights there include the Pyramid of the Sun—nearly as wide and about half as tall as the Egyptian pyramids—and the Pyramid of the Moon. Yes, you can climb them, and explore the Aztec ruins of seven palaces nearby.

Mayan Temple at Anthropology Museum - Mexico City, Mexico

Bosque de Chapultepec

Like most world cities, Mexico City has an exceptional city park, Bosque de Chapultepec. The most impressive building is Chapultepec Castle, a hilltop fortress erected for a Spanish viceroy who never occupied it. It now serves as the National History Museum. Also in and around the park, twice the size of New York City's Central Park, is a zoo, a botanical garden, a lake with rowboat and paddleboat rentals, an amusement park, two modern art museums, the Water Garden Museum (showcasing several Diego Rivera murals) and the National Museum of Anthropology—arguably Mexico's best museum, worthy of a half-day visit.

Cuisine and Cervezas

Mexico City has emerged as a major culinary destination, led by restaurants such as Pujol and Quintonil, ranked 20th and 22nd in the world. (The only other city with two restaurants ranked that high: Paris.) Both are located in the upscale Polanco district. The trendy Condesa district and artsy Roma district are also home to many outstanding restaurants serving Mexican and fusion fare, as well as great shopping and nightspots. Or you can just relax at an informal cantina on any commercial street to enjoy quesadillas and cervezas with a televised soccer game or Mexican music as entertainment.

Busy downtown Historic Center street in Mexico City

On the boulevard

Paseo de la Reforma is a grand boulevard that slices diagonally through Mexico City, from the old city center to Bosque de Chapultepec. Broad and handsome, it's lined by tall statues and monuments, taller trees and even taller modern high-rises. Clogged with traffic the rest of the week, it changes character on Sundays, when most of it is closed to vehicles until 2 p.m. That's when tens of thousands of walkers, runners, skaters and cyclists take it over—a treat for locals and tourists alike.

Practicalities

Mexico City is safer than many U.S. cities, so don't let movies about cartels that operate elsewhere in Mexico keep you away. The subway system is also quite safe—and the fastest and least expensive way to get around the city. Buses and Uber are also good transportation options. Just don't rent a car, as the traffic is insane. Good hotels are about $50/night; excellent hotels are about $100. Once you've checked in, allow ample time to take in the sights as the 7,400-foot altitude encourages a relaxed pace.

The Royal Chapel at the Gardens of National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico

If you go

United Airlines offers flights to Mexico City from several U.S. cities and MileagePlus® Rewards can help pay for your hotel room once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your Mexico City escape.

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Jessica Kimbrough named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

By The Hub team, July 10, 2020

Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.

Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.

In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.

"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."

As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.

Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.

Jessica's new role is effective immediately.

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.

United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.

Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.

A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.

United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group

Fellow United team members –

Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.

Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.

Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."

Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.

To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.

Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

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